Woman arrested after spending 2 hours in pine tree

Members of the St. George Fire Department respond to help talk a woman down from of a 30-foot pine tree, St. George, Utah, Dec. 10, 2014 | Photo courtesy of Joshua Prue, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A woman who climbed a 30-foot pine tree and refused to come down Wednesday night is in police custody after spending about two hours up in the air.

At approximately 7 p.m. Wednesday, members of the St. George Police Department and the St. George Fire Department responded to a home in the 2700 East area of St. George after residents reported a woman had climbed a tree in their backyard and was refusing to come down.

(report continues below)

Video courtesy of Joshua Prue, St. George News

The owner of the home, John Prue, of St. George, said he originally discovered the woman when he was building a fire in his backyard with his 14-year-old grandson. Prue said at first he thought an animal was in his tree, but after shining a flashlight up the tree, he found that a woman had climbed almost to the top of the 30-foot pine.

“She was very vocal and (using) profanity,” Prue said.

After asking the woman to come down multiple times, Prue said, he eventually asked his wife to call the police. Once police were on scene, the woman refused to cooperate with them and was being vulgar toward them, as well.

The woman was also threatening to harm herself, Officer Jace Hutchings said in a probable cause statement supporting the woman’s arrest.

“(Her) behavior was very erratic,” Hutchings said in the statement. “She was saying how she was on fire and afraid of being harmed.”

The woman was high enough in the air that she could have been seriously hurt if she fell, St. George Police Sgt. Sam Despain said. To help police get closer, the Fire Department extended a ladder from a truck up to where she was.

Because the woman seemed hostile toward police officers, Hutchings was dressed up in fireman gear and was sent up the ladder. He was able to coax the woman down safely, Despain said.

Once the woman was in police custody, police discovered she had two outstanding warrants for her arrest, Despain said; one was a second-degree felony warrant for possession of a controlled substance and the other was a class B misdemeanor warrant for theft of services.

While police believe controlled substances may have been a factor in this incident, Despain said, the officers treated the situation as a psychiatric case. The woman was not found in possession of any drugs or drug paraphernalia once she was out of the tree.

The woman was arrested on both warrants and also charged with disorderly conduct, a class C misdemeanor. She was booked into the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility and remains in police custody at the time of this publication.

Though there was damage to Prue’s pine tree as a result of the incident, he said he will not be seeking to press any charges against the woman and hopes she gets the help she needs.

Despain said it is not altogether uncommon for police to respond to cases where people have locked themselves into rooms or other locations and refused to come out; however, he said, this is the first time he’s ever been involved in a case where the location was a tree.

“This is something we don’t see every day, that’s for sure,” Despain said.

This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

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Email: dchavez@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

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28 Comments

  • Wilbur December 11, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    Obviously she wanted to be the Angel at the top of the tree.

  • The Rest Of The Story December 11, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    So glad to hear the pine tree wasn’t hurt!

  • Joe Smith December 11, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    maybe santa put her up in the tree cuz she been bad

  • Robb Willie December 11, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    Pine nut?

  • Koolaid December 11, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    Was she playing nuts, hoping to catch some squirrels? These Dixie gals are proving themselves to be a certain kinda special, abut as nutty as Dixie guys.

    • Robb Willie December 11, 2014 at 6:18 pm

      So which are you? And why would you want to live in a place where you dislike both?

    • Vet December 11, 2014 at 7:26 pm

      Koolaid , I’m really worried about you. I know you are a lock in. I feel that you are crying out for help. Do you need counsel? I can help you if you call crises hotline. I will continue to read your comments for other clues.

  • My Evil Twin December 11, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    ROFLMAO Just leave her their, just like a cat she’ll come down when she gets hungry!

    • Toad Stool December 11, 2014 at 6:33 pm

      Is that what they did with you. ROFLMAO.!

  • Big Bob December 11, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    Thanks for informing us what kind of tree it was. Next can you specify if it was Mondell or Aleppo pine, please?

  • groanattack December 11, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    Baa dee ya, Baa dee ya, that’s all folks!

  • Mr. Winkle December 11, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    More examples of police abuse. This poor woman was just decorating her xmas tree when she was brutally arrested.

  • Shelly December 11, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    Wow you guys should have just a wee bit of sympathy for people with problems. It could be you someday, but you’re probably all perfect. Please don’t ever apply for a job with emergency medical service, or the police department. You would really stink at it.

    • My Evil Twin December 11, 2014 at 9:58 pm

      Darlin’ some of us were doing all that before you were even a gleam in your old man’s eyes. Obviously you either have no EMS experience, or are so new at it that you haven’t developed the necessary buffers to keep you sane in the job.

      • Shelly December 12, 2014 at 6:53 am

        Evil twit you couldn’t make it to the top of a six foot ladder without crying for help. Aren’t you the little troll who lives in his Mommy’s basement?

        • My Evil Twin December 12, 2014 at 8:53 am

          Whatever you say dear.

        • Soaponarope December 12, 2014 at 10:15 pm

          Yeah good one Shelly you got. that twit figured out.. LOL

    • Ridolph December 11, 2014 at 11:44 pm

      I’m an EMT and I think this whole thing is funny. Gee I wonder what drug she took. I have no sympathy for druggies

  • munchie December 11, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    The police were called in when she started swaying with the wind and they arrested her for dancing

  • Missy December 12, 2014 at 12:40 am

    Lol!! This is just what I needed tonight!!! This is funny. I skipped straight to the comments. Pretty much, Koolaid. The reason I don’t date anyone born or raised in Utah. I can’t wait to move.

    • Vet December 12, 2014 at 3:38 pm

      I think you and koolaid would make a good couple, both of you are stuck in a place you hate, your both lock ins, and see the world though the lense of the comment page. It’s pathetic you know .
      Come out and join the crowd are at least get therapy.

      • JOE December 14, 2014 at 10:28 am

        you are pathethic old man go crawl back under your rock or take your meds and shut up.

  • sagemoon December 12, 2014 at 9:24 am

    LOL and LOL some more! I’m loving the comments. Keep ’em coming. Can you imagine going about your business in your backyard when you notice someone up in your pine tree? Must have made for an interesting night for the home owner and his grand son.

  • mo ferguson December 12, 2014 at 10:56 am

    I’ve heard of “up in the night”…..now it’s “up in a tree”
    Now THAT’S a real tree hugger….

  • Koolaid December 12, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    She’s lucky some boy scout troop didn’t chop it down. She might have landed in front of an oncoming vehicle.

  • Soaponarope December 12, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    This reminds of the book I seen the title is Antlers in the tree top. by. Who. goosed The. Moose

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